Absolute Bargains!

General HiFi discussion, using the Tune Method to evaluate performance

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doze84
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Post by doze84 » 2009-05-29 00:25

We found after some blind and regular comparison, a very musical and good rca-signal-cable called Oehlbach. It cost only 15$ in sweden. Not as good as linn interconnect black but still very good cable. Both me and my friend switched our more expensive cables for this one, before I got my interconnect black. I can't find it on their website but i think it is intended for cars. here's a picture of it http://www.hifireview.org The blue one. And hifibutiken.se has it. I'll try to find it elsewhere. I'll try to come back with the name of it.

EDit: The Name of the cable is 96260 Oehlbach, 0,8m in lenght.
Last edited by doze84 on 2009-09-02 23:41, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by lejonklou » 2009-05-29 02:04

Thanks doze84!

I agree that System Fidelity makes some really good stuff. Haven't heard their expensive series, I'm curious whether they can live up to the price/performance ratio of their entry level equipment.

Those Oehlbach cables look quite ugly. :wink: But if they're good at such a low price, it's a great recommendation!

I've recently received some enquiries about low cost interconnects (significantly below Linn Black), but have had to admit that I've lost touch with what's good in that pricerange. Many years ago, Cambridge audio had some low cost interconnects that were quite nice. Below Linn Black in performance, but enjoyable and musical.

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Re: AKG K 420 headphones

Post by Linnofil » 2009-05-29 07:05

lejonklou wrote:Got them! Great pair of headphones!
...
Once again I owe you great thanks, Linnofil!
That's nice to hear, I'm really glad you liked them!

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Post by lejonklou » 2009-05-29 12:44

Linnofil, are there any other headphones that you think are better than K420P? I know you've mentioned some expensive AKG's in the past. And some people praise Grado 225, I need to compare with those.

I am simply seeking a reference pair of headphones. Heard many in the past, but found few that I really liked. Especially the expensive ones, which tend to sound more polite but not better.

Right now I feel like K420P might be the best ever, but that could be an illusion...

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Post by Music Lover » 2009-05-29 13:41

lejonklou wrote:Thanks doze84!

I agree that System Fidelity makes some really good stuff. Haven't heard their expensive series, I'm curious whether they can live up to the price/performance ratio of their entry level equipment.

Those Oehlbach cables look quite ugly. :wink: But if they're good at such a low price, it's a great recommendation!

I've recently received some enquiries about low cost interconnects (significantly below Linn Black), but have had to admit that I've lost touch with what's good in that pricerange. Many years ago, Cambridge audio had some low cost interconnects that were quite nice. Below Linn Black in performance, but enjoyable and musical.
Used blacks can be found to a very reasonable price.
I think I have close to 10 pairs in my Linn closet. (yes there is a number of various Linn items like power cables from different generations, a Creek tuner, some PSU’s and yes a KK mkI mother board)
A few active filters as well.
If you have customers asking for low cost alternatives...
Haven’t bothered writing an add.

Forgot 40+ Ethernet cables and a bunch of switches/routers
It's all about musical understanding!

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Logitech Harmony 525 Universal Remote

Post by springwood64 » 2009-06-03 09:04

This is not a device you listen to :? so feel free to move it if you think it's in the wrong place.

Image
However, the family has been living with this for the last few months and it is the first remote that everyone can live with.

We use it to control:
  • 1. Linn AV 5103
    2. Arcam DV 88
    3. Linn Kudos
    4. Panacronic TV
    5. BTVision Box
Why do I think the Logitech Harmony 525 is worthy of 'Absolute Bargain'?
  • Because it is relatively cheap (price varies from £30 to £70!) and does as good a job for our system as much more expensive remotes (think Philips Pronto).

    This remote does not just emulate the commands of a bunch of other remotes - it performs compound operations very well indeed. This really differentiates it from other entry level multi-device universal remotes.

    It controls the entire system with one button press to select an activity (like 'listen to radio' or 'watch dvd'), and each activity is clearly labelled as such. No need to decipher strange pictograms. Even the babysitter can figure it out.

    It is more usable than the dedicated Linn, Arcam, Panasonic and BT Vision remotes because of its well-designed context-sensitive menus. In particular, the remote has liberated the Kudos as we now can choose labelled radio stations from the remote instead of having to remember which number preset is which station. Even the kids use the radio now! (Tho' sometimes this is not a good thing)

    I think the reason it is so easy to use is its cunning combination of real keys with fixed labels (and functions appropriate to the device) and a few context-sensitive keys with programmable labels.

    It has a clever, simple 'help' function that ensures all the right devices are turned on for a specific activity and the correct inputs selected for sound and vision. Even my 6 year old daughter can sort out the system if it does not behave.

    It is programmable via USB on a PC, which makes it much easier to set up and adapt than other cheap remotes. The priogramming software is very well designed, with 'wizard' style set up that makes it v quick and easy to add and configure devices. Again, this aspect really sets it apart from most cheap multi-device remotes.

    It comes pre-programmed with all the commands for all my Linn gear (!). Only my ancient TV defeated it. No need for that tedious button-by-button programming of the remote, fiddling with pointing two remotes at each other.
The Logitech has just one significant weakness - the buttons can get stuck easily, although they are also easy to free up.

I have gone through One-For-All, Philips and Sony universal remotes, all of which combined to make an expensive failure. The family ended up resorting to the pile of dedicated remotes rather than use these. The amount I spent on these remotes could have paid for a new cart on my LP12. Grrr.

Now all the dedicated remotes have been packed away in a drawer for months. :D
Pete

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Post by rowlandhills » 2009-06-03 15:01

I can very much second Pete (Springwood64)'s recommendation for a Harmony remote.

I've been using a 655 for a couple of years and think it's fantastic. When mine recently began to suffer from a couple of stuck buttons, I immediately went onto eBay to find another, to avoid my wife getting truly upset!

Personally I prefer the 655 due to the exact layout being better to handle my video devices, but the overall Harmony functionality is the same on all models, and is indeed very, very good!
KRDSM, Tundra to 242s
Silvers, K400, Hutter rack

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Post by Linnofil » 2009-06-05 14:38

lejonklou wrote:Linnofil, are there any other headphones that you think are better than K420P?
Yes! At least two pairs, I think...
lejonklou wrote:I know you've mentioned some expensive AKG's in the past.
Yes, I have a pair of AKG 501 that are marginally better than the AKG 420's. They sound completely different and are not at all portable. But they are better. But considering the cost I would not really reccomend them over the 420's. (Testing at home with Line receiver as headphone amp, a really good one!)
lejonklou wrote:some people praise Grado 225
I have not yet tried Grado SR225. But a couple of days ago I tested the Grado SR325i at my delaer with my Sansa M250 (and a 1/4"=>3.5mm adapter) and they were easily better than the K420, despite no adapter for the K420. The margin was much bigger than when testing the AKG 501. But I cannot really safely say that the SR325i are better than the 501's. Why? When I tested the 501's at home I decided to try the same test with my Sansa M250. I expected that the K420's might have an advantadge with the 501's beeing to hard to drive with the little MP3 player. But instead I found the opposite! Since the M250 is much more musical at max volume (This is very obvious when used as a source in my car.) the 501's at max volume was much better than the K420 at 40% volume. With these new tests I think I have to reevaluate the test at my dealer. Maybe the SR325i really isn't that much better than K420 or 501? For a final conclusion I think I need to test the SR325i at home, or at least compare the 501 and SR325i at the same time at my dealer.

At the samt time as testing the SR325i I also tested the iGrado and the Grado SR80. I found the iGrado to be worse than the K420's in all aspects, including comfort. I also found the SR80 to be musically worse and slightly better soundwise than the K420's. The bigger Grados are very "nonportable" in their design making them hard to use on the run. .
lejonklou wrote:Right now I feel like K420P might be the best ever, but that could be an illusion...
I think they still are the best ever, if the price is considered. But maybe they are not the ultimate in performance. Further tests are needed!

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Re: AKG K 420 headphones

Post by Linntek » 2009-06-09 07:40

lejonklou wrote:
Linnofil wrote:The K420 really are a fabulous upgrade from K24P. Highly recommended by Linnofil!
Got them! Great pair of headphones!

Less harsh in the treble than K24P, feels safer for my tinnitus ears. Basslines are more in tune, with solid notes instead of a blur. A bit less agressive and direct. No strange timing issues, highly enjoyable.

Once again I owe you great thanks, Linnofil!
Well - had to do it - and I find them very good. Compared to my HD 515 and original i(head)phones :shock: which is the only one I've got.
Even 256 kB ACC files on my iphone sounds very good. Much more fun and enjoyable than my Senheiser's.
I'm really looking forward to hear how Lejonklou's headphone amp performs with these K420's :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Post by Charlie1 » 2009-08-10 12:44

Just to reiterate everyones findings ref the K420s. A nicer sound than the K24P, especially the treble, and much more confortable which was really the K24Ps major weakness IMO. And still such great value and perfectly suited to modest headphone amps such as the ones in-built to some Linn amps.

Would be interesting to compare them against the big boys using a dedicated headphone amp, but for my purposes the K420s are ideal. Really pleased.

Thanks again to Linnofil for doing all the leg work.

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More speakers

Post by doze84 » 2009-09-03 00:00

It seems like the kef cresta 10 and 30 are worth to be placed here since, them according to taktoton.com are still one of the most musical speakers that can be bought for under 1000$, except for linn-speakers.

Here's a list of none linn speakers i got from taktoton.

1 Kef Cresta 30/kef cresta 10
2 Monitor audio rs1
3 System fidelity 3030, PSB Alpha B1(same timing as 3030 but a little bit bigger sound)
4 sf-5010 or something,

The cresta can still be found now and then on ebay or other similar sites.

I've just ordered my cresta, so I'll se how good they are when i get time to compare to other speakers..

I got the bookshelf version for 150$ +shipping

But of crourse you have to keep in mind that there probably are to be linn speakers that are better even in this price range if you go second hand, maybe a par of keilidh or tukan or kan, could be a good alternative, to this one.
Last edited by doze84 on 2009-09-06 13:34, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by Azazello » 2009-09-07 20:42

I have lifted out the posts about Cinema receivers. This "Absolute bargains" thread should be reserved to those rare products that represent exceptional value given their asking price. Not just general recommendations, good or not.

Please don't hesitate to start new threads if you have information like this to share. They are much appreciated.

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Post by ahaa » 2009-09-15 20:41

Thanks to Linnofil for recommending the K420P! I have used Grado SR60 for a while. I find them a bit more clever, but not quite as much fun as my 420 - and definitely less portable.
Being a bureaucrat of 50+, I have been on the lookout for something even more discrete to wear on the commuter train than the 420. A new search on different forums led me to try out the Yuin PK3 ear buds. I bought them from head-direct.com and paid USD 49 including delivery on my front door in Norway. Even straight out of the box it was easy to hear that the 420 had potential. That was not the case for the PK3s. They sounded just as boring as they looked. Four days of tough and continuous playing changed them completely. I have now used them for a couple of months, and they still amazes me. They give the music a very nice mood which have resulted in both regular big smiles and goose bumps for me. Very dynamic with sufficient bass response. I still have a preference for the 420s but actually it does not feel like a big let down when I use the PK3s instead, even though they soud very different...
Pros: A lot of musical pleasure with discrete ear buds, very little sound emitted to fellow travellers (or sleeping wife!), more portable than headphones. Cons: Cable can make some noise when bouncing during movement

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Post by Lego » 2009-09-22 10:46

I at last ordered my 420P and yes they do sound good maybe slightly boring and warm but OK.. maybe I was expecting too much..my 6 year old daughter said the sounded like my old ones(K24Ps) but not as sore..For the last 6 months the only headphones I could findat home were the free sansas which I still use for running; now they are burned I can tell you they are no slouches:when I use them after the K420Ps I dont get that 'I wish I had my 420s'.
Maybe this is a Linn basik cartridge moment(without the Linn hype).
I know that tune

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Post by doze84 » 2009-12-21 05:47

Hey hopp!
Hpm-61, headset from sony ericsson, it's a killer:)
Costs about 10$, not with impressive resolution, neither a full bodied soundimag, but its musicality is among the big guys, somewhere close to Grado sr-225, maybe better:)

Recomended to use togeather with Sony Ericsson W890i and wave files!

Have fun!

Edit: Btw, forgot to tell, that it hurts to wear aswell, lol:)

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Recommendation downgraded...

Post by ahaa » 2010-09-02 11:24

ahaa wrote:Yuin PK3 ear buds. I bought them from head-direct.com and paid USD 49 including delivery on my front door in Norway. Even straight out of the box it was easy to hear that the 420 had potential. That was not the case for the PK3s. They sounded just as boring as they looked. Four days of tough and continuous playing changed them completely. I have now used them for a couple of months, and they still amazes me. They give the music a very nice mood which have resulted in both regular big smiles and goose bumps for me. Very dynamic with sufficient bass response.
I bought a new pair of PK3s this spring. Yuin have changed the cable and plug. It looks much nicer, but alas, the magic in the sound is gone even after extended burn in. New sets have a single stranded cord and a small plug like Apple buds. The old PK3s have a two stranded cord and larger hexagonal plugs.

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Re: AKG K 420 headphones

Post by lejonklou » 2010-10-23 15:03

lejonklou wrote:The K420 really are a fabulous upgrade from K24P. Highly recommended by Linnofil!
I have to revise my position of these headphones.

A very thorough customer recently demonstrated K420 versus K24P to me. On some tracks, especially one with a man singing, I must confess that K24P was performing better! There was something funny about the K420 (and not just this particular pair, he'd bought several) that made the singing less tuneful and interesting. The message of the music came through better with K24P.

On some different tracks, with lots of electronic sounds, my impression was that K420 was more in control, but also slightly slow and laid back compared to K24P, which tended to be more noisy and confused. I preferred K420 here, but with doubt and by a very small margin.

Both models were driven with the headphone output of an old Rotel amplifier. This sounded a lot better than directly from an old Sansa player!

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Post by lejonklou » 2010-10-26 00:00

ThomasOK wrote:I just had to add the unit I am using for record demagnetizing here. Considering the improvement it makes to records, the ease of use and the low price I feel it belongs in the bargains listing.
Image
Finally I've heard what this unit does. The kind customer who demonstrated it to me didn't have this exact model, but instead a small (but very heavy) box that sits in his bookshelf. You simply turn it on and move the record over the top surface of it. I believe it's originally intended for lab use, for demagnetising metal tools.

The effect is not subtle! After the treatment, which just took a few seconds, the record sounded as if it had been thoroughly cleaned. Or, using Charlie's comment about the effect of Radikal; it sounded like a fan in the room had been turned off. I was amazed!

The listening test was made with an LP12 with an MC cart: Arkiv B. I haven't yet tried this with an MM cart.

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Post by Broccoli » 2010-10-26 08:23

Where can you get one?

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Post by lejonklou » 2010-10-26 10:40

Good question, Broccoli. The hand held tool that Thomas mentions is cheap but only available in 110V. One can connect two in series, but I'd definitely prefer the kind of unit my customer had. I'm quite sure it was one of these:

Image

Readily available on the net, but quite expensive (€129+VAT+shipping is the cheapest I've found). I'm sure something similar can be found dead cheap with a bit of luck and/or persistance.

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Post by Lingo » 2011-01-23 22:06

I've noticed some cheap Tongyuan mains power cords on eBay UK though I'm not sure if they're the same as the one's supplied by Linn?

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Post by lejonklou » 2011-01-23 22:30

Just checked them. From the photo it doesn't appear to be Volex connectors or plugs. And the connector is more important than the cable.

Therefore, there's no way of knowing how these will sound.

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Post by Lingo » 2011-01-24 14:22

I knew it was too good to be true :(

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Post by doze84 » 2011-04-13 00:18

Here's my contribution to the absolute bargain headphone's list.

1.Sennheiser HD 60 TV
2.Pioneer se-m280
I find them both better than akg k420. Could be hard to get hold of though.

Sennheiser is the most musical of the two, Pioneer is most smooth of the two. Shouldn't cost more than 50$

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Post by Lego » 2011-11-03 15:04

I am getting very good results on my Android HTC desire hd and akg k420s.
I downloaded a free app bubble UPnp and use it to stream music from my Nas to my tivoli Pal around the flat,great when in the bath.

Bubble has a download function, so downloaded a couple of flac albums from nas it took about a minute.Then I realised there was nothing on phone to play music..back to market looking for apps which play flac(no its not an iPhoney) .
The first one I tried was AndLess(free) and I must admit I was blown away with the sound(+k420s) .I'm actually listening to and enjoying albums I have on vinyl which in the past was a definite No No!You just didnt do it.Not even on my sansa or Classik.It has very simple B&W interface none of your artwork nonsense here matey.
With the speed and ease it takes to put music onto the desireHd it has taken over the Sansas job..no mean feat, and you can hear the phone ring to take calls..I would urge anyone with an Android phone to try these apps out.
Roxanne!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I know that tune

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